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Common (Standard) Interview Questions and Answers

Q. Tell me about yourself.
A. This is the most common interview question and can sometimes be the hardest. Since it is a broad and general question the worst thing you can do is give a broad and general answer.
To make the most of this question you should use it as a “springboard” to topics that you want to discuss. This question allows you to decide what parts of your career experiences you want to share with your prospective employer.

Q. What are your major strengths?
A. When you answer this question you should answer it in terms of “what are the top two or three skills I bring to this job?” Thus, your strengths that you are willing to discuss will usually change from interview to interview depending on the job and the organization you are meeting with.

Q. What are your weaknesses?
A. Many people view this question as a way for an employer to find out your shortcomings as an employee. This is not the case. The real reason why this question is asked during the interview process is to determine your level of awareness of your shortcomings.
When answering this question it is important for you to avoid weaknesses that may hinder your job performance or will disclose personal issues. You should choose a weakness before an interview. You should also be able to tell the interviewer steps that you took to overcome the weakness.

Q. What prompted your decision to apply for this position?
A. When an interviewer asks this question they are trying to seek out a number of things. The interviewer may be trying to find out what motivates you, the level to which you desire the job, how much you know about the job, etc.
If this is a position that you really desire this is a very easy question to answer. Your goal in answering this question should be to link your interest and enthusiasm to the skills and knowledge that are most relevant to the position.

Q. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
A. Though you may not know where you see yourself 5 minutes from now it is important for you to be able to answer this question without hesitation. When an employer asks you this question they are trying to get a better grasp on your level of dependability, focus, and commitment.
Your answer to this question should be to focus on initially completing the challenge at hand. After that you can change focus a bit and discuss your long term career goals. Your answer to this question should not include personal or family goals.

Q. What have you gained from your work/school experiences?
A. When answering this question you should not simply focus on or read directly from your resume. Rather, pick one or two work experiences or situations you were involved in and be able to discuss in detail: you duties, your activities, successes, lessons learned.

Q. What difficulties have you faced on the job?
A. In this question it is important to discuss only difficulties that you have faced where the final outcome has been successful. When utilizing examples you should try to take a negative situation and have it end with a positive solution.


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